Friday, January 1, 2010

Hotel Odyssey 2010


Families jumped in cabs racing to go see the fireworks and dressed up couples wearing plastic top hats and tiaras started flocking to the bars. Everyone was happy and completely under dressed for the bitter cold outside.


I heard the countdown being shouted throughout the nearby hotel bar. Happy New Year! The restaurant manager stepped out to raise his glass of water to me in cheer. I raised my can of Diet Coke to toast him across the lobby.


Two bicycle cops came in to use the restroom and escape the cold. I recognized one who moonlighted as security at another property I worked at. They ended up hanging out in the lobby for a couple hours. This allowed them an opportunity to warm up and me to have the two armed guards I've always wanted. One drunk jerk came in off the street to harass my staff and they got him to leave without me having to say a word. Awesome.


Girls dashed across the street to go their respective hotels armored only in tiny skirts and high heels trying to race ahead of the harsh wind. They lost. Everyone who came through the lobby also felt the need to inform me of the cold weather. I apologized and tried to assure them I did everything within my powers have kept this from happening. They understood and appreciated my efforts, but asked that I try harder the next time.


My guards eventually get a call from a nearby Hilton where trouble is brewing. I bid them a begrudged fair well, knowing that this inevitably meant my troubles were about to begin.


Three noise complaints in a row. One guy told me that if his neighbors didn't shut up, he was going to get them back even worse when they were trying to sleep off their hangovers. Another caused us to halt an amorous couple from doing immoral things in the hallway since they couldn't wait to get to their own room and floor. I invited the third offenders to come down to the lobby if they wanted to carry on their merry making without fear of upsetting their grumpy floor mates. They were really cool and we became fast friends soon after. They asked when I got off my shift and if I would join them when off duty, but with the promise that we wouldn't hang out in their room where we would disturb of complainers. I told them if they were still about at 6:30am I would consider it, but they didn't quite make it. Maybe next time BFFs!


A suite called down and asked me to send up a bottle of Vodka. "Sorry, ma'am. The bar is closed and there is no store anywhere nearby where you can by alcohol at this time." In reality, I wasn't really that sorry.


My houseman came in from outside to inform me that one of our guests was chatting with a homeless person and that they were likely to both come inside so the luckless gentleman could use a restroom. I feel kind of bad about it, but we don't allow non guests to use any of our facilities for the safety of our staff and guests. The guy walked in with the homeless gentleman and said, "It's ok, he's with me and I am a guest." I told him that we lock up all of the lobby restrooms at night when the restaurant closes (true) and the only restrooms that are available are the ones in the guest rooms (also true). When he asked where the guest rooms where, I said, "Well, like the one you are staying in." He then apologised to the homeless man saying that maybe that wasn't the best idea. Everyone ended up agreeing, including the understanding homeless man. I do appreciate a person trying to help out an unfortunate, but he pretty much enforced why such rules are in place.


Finally got a chance to sit down to enjoy a crappy 7 11 hosted lunch/breakfast/dinner. Meal names get confusing when you work nights.


Crappy meal is interrupted. A guest who came down to replace his room key casually mentions, "Oh, by the way. There is some guy passed out in the fourth floor hallway. I hope he's not dead." I agreed that I too hoped he was not dead and had my bellman investigate. After being unable to wake him, he asked me for an assist. When I got up to the floor, I saw the well dressed young gentleman curled up on the floor with his arms cradling his head as a pillow. I had to mildly scold my concerned coworker after he decided to help by quietly laughing and snapping a photo on his cell phone. After five minutes of trying to wake him with quiet speaking to louder urging to forcefully shaking, he finally woke up. I started to ask him questions that were beyond him at the moment such as his driver's license, his room number, and his name. Instead of answering me, he started fiddling with his iPhone. I escorted him down to a chair in the lobby so we could continue our insightful chat without disturbing anymore guests. "What is your name, sir? Are you sure you are in the right hotel? If you are trying to call a friend on your cell phone that is staying here, I would be happy to ring their room. Maybe some coffee or water well help you remember how to express yourself in a more vocal fashion." All the while, he was still scrolling through his phone. After awhile, he did speak. "Am I in Chicago?" I was happy that we were getting somewhere! After I assured him that he was, he then asked, "Am I really that drunk?" I once again assured him that he most certainly was. He kind of laughed and played with his phone some more. Just as I was wondering if I should call 911, he finished his scrolling, leaned to rest his head against the wall, and dropped his cell phone. When I picked it up, I saw that he had just spent the last twenty minutes looking up his confirmation email for his room on the iPhone. I have to admire that. The easy way would be to pull out your wallet and driver's license or maybe simply say your last name. Anyway, I made him a new key and helped him up to his room. On the way up he asked three more times if he could really be this drunk. I mentioned that he must have had a pretty good New Years. He wasn't so sure because he was pretty certain he came back to the hotel alone. I had to concede the point.


Passed on to my relief that he has one wake up call to do at 11:30am. When asked how my shift went, I told him that it wasn't half as strange as I expected.

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